Author Archive

Dr. Alan Somers began his career at Indiana in the early 1960s.  He won swimming letters in 1961, 1962 and 1963.  He won five Big Ten championships in the 400, 1500 and 1650 freestyles.  He competed in the 1960 Olympics in the 400 and 1500.  Somers won 4 AAU championships in freestyle events.  He owned the American record in the 400 for three years.

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According to the IU Varsity Club website, Dr. Alan Somers is one of Indiana swimming’s most decorated athletes and one of the program’s most generous supporters.  Somers, along with other former swimmers and divers, have embarked on a campaign to raise $5 million to fully endow the 9.9 scholarships awarded in men’s swimming and diving to ensure the growth and future success of the nationally adorned programs.

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Today, Somers serves as a neurologist in Bloomington and holds two prestigious degrees from IU.  Additionally, Somers serves on the steering committee of the swimming endowment and is key in the fundraising efforts to his former collegiate program.

Giving back means a lot to Somers.

“[IU Swimming] provided me with many of the most important and long lasting friendships,” Somers said.

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Let’s not forget, Somers was coached under famous Doc Counsilman.

In 2007, Somers was awarded the Z.G. Clevenger Award, the highest award received for an alumni’s continued, lifelong commitment to Indiana University Athletes.  In 2009, he was inducted into the IU Hall of Fame.

Katrin Koch is originally from Neuffen, Germany, but her alma mater is none other than Indiana University.  She won track letters in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992.  Furthermore, she won Big Ten Medal in 1992, Big Ten indoor shot put title the same year, and the Big Ten outdoor shot put titles in ’91 and ’92.  She was an NCAA champion in the shot put outdoors.

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Koch set Big Ten shot put records for both indoors and outdoors, as well as the discus.  From 1993-1998, she served as Indiana’s Assistant Director of Strength and Training and the Head Strength Coordinator from 1998-2004.

In ’04, Koch was named Director of Strength and Conditioning for Olympic Sports at the University of Georgia in May.  She is directly responsible for the Ladydogs basketbal team, the Men’s Tennis and Women’s Soccer Team as well as the Gymdogs while overseeing the development and implementation of strength and conditioning programs for all 15 Olympic UGA varsity sports.

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Along with being a student athlete, Koch received her bachelor’s degrees in Fine Arts and Art History.  She received her masters in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports Psychology from IU in 197.

During her tenure of coaching at IU, Koch worked with teams which combined to win three NCAA Championships and 21 Big Ten Conference and Big Ten Tournament titles.

According to the IU Hall of Fame website, Michelle Venturella is one of the most accomplished team sport athletes in IU history.  Venturella won softball letters in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1995.

A native of South Holland, Illinois, Venturella was named All-Big Ten twice and Academic All-Big Ten three times.  She was the 2nd team All-America in 1994, 3rd team All-America in 1995 and IU Female Athlete of the year in 1995.

Venturella won IU’s Big Ten Medal in 1995 and set conference records in batting average, total bases and runs battled0in in 1994.  She holds IU season records for runs, doubles, home runs and runs batted in, while also owning the career record for runs batted in.

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Venturella was a member of the USA softball team for six years, helping the US to a gold medal in both 1996 and 2000.  She was also part of the 1998 World Championship gold medal team.

What is this softball legend up to today?

Michelle Venturella is currently the head coach at University of Illinois-Chicago, a position she has held since 2008.  Prior to UIC, she was an assistant at Iowa for six years, including four as associate head coach, and an assistant coach at Northern Illinois for two years.

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Venturella is entering her fifth season at the helm of the UIC softball program.  Since taking over, she has placed eight Flames members on 11 different occasions to the all-conference team.  She was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year in 2009.  Her squad claimed a regular season championship in 2009 and the tournament crown in 2011, which pushed the Flames to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.

 

Former Hoosier Athlete now CEO of Golf Training Systems

Posted: April 16, 2013 by kelseyray in IU Golf

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Wayne McDonald came to IU  to play golf after he won the Ontario Junior Championships in 1964.  In 2010, McDonald was inducted into the IU Hall of Fame.  At Indiana, he earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

McDonald won golf letters from 1968-1970 and placed second and seventh in the Big Ten meets as a junior and senior.  He was a two-year All-American, placing second and ninth in NCAA championships, IU’s only two-time first team All-American player in men’s golf.

In 1969, McDonald won the Canadian Amateur title and also played in the Eisenhower Cup for Canada.  In 2001, McDonald became a Senior Professional golfer at the age of 51 and competed with the top-ranking players on the Champions Tour.  He has finished successfully in the US Senior Open, British Senior Open and Canadian Senior Open.  Furthermore, he won four professional events on the secondary Senior Tours.

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Today?  McDonald currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he is the managing partner for Matteson Partners, Inc., an executive search firm.  On top of that, he also founded and was Chairman and CEO of Golf Training systems, a company he took public in 1995.  Prior to that, he served as President of a venture capital backed firm in Atlanta, Cornerstone Products Inc., which became the leading visual merchandising supplier of in-store products to promote and sell logo merchandise for professional sports leagues, including the MLB, NBA, NASCAR and USOC.

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Now, his focus is in C-level searches in addition to working with Engineering and Architectural Firms, Sports, Non-Profit Organizations, Sales and Marketing Professionals.  With Golf Training systems, the company successfully developed golf products and programs for well-known instructors David Leadbetter and Dave Pelz.  It helped brand and market these names and products lines worldwide.

Currently, McDonald continues to play golf.  Of course, it is at a reduced schedule.  I would say the man is pretty busy!

Running for Fun Now

Posted: April 9, 2013 by kelseyray in IU Women's Sports

Michelle Dekkers Maton won cross country and track letters in 1988, 1989 and 1990.  She was Big Ten cross country championships three times.  She was named an All-American in cross country three times, led teams to Big Ten cross country championships and holds the best times on IU’s course in cross country.  She still holds IU records both indoors and outdoors in 5,000 and 10,000.

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So, what has Maton been running around doing lately?

Maton took time out from running to start a family and and move from Ohio to South Florida with her husband.

“Having kids gives me a good balance,” Maton said. “I’m not thinking about racing or training all the time. I like being busy with the kids.”

Maton runs in marathons for fun today.

“I still get a little nervous,” Maton said. “I’ve always had a problem with nerves. I enjoy it more because I am running for myself – not for a college, not for a team – just for myself.”

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Maton is a native of South Africa.  She grew up running barefoot and still trains that way sometimes today.

It seems like she can’t run away from track.  Not surprisingly, her husband is former NCAA indoor 800-meter champ Jim Maton.

Is it just me, or do we see running proteges in the future from these two?

I can’t decide which I’m more impressed about… The fact that Tara VanDerveer was a three year Dean’s List Scholar at IU or the fact that she has won over 800 games in coaching NCAA Women’s Basketball.

VanDerveer has been the Stanford University Women’s Coach since 1985, leading the Stanford Cardinals to two NCAA Women’s Division 1 Basketball Championships in 1990 and 1992.

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In 1996, VanDerveer stepped away for a year to serve as the U.S. National team head coach at the Olympics.  She is a ten time Pac-12 Coach of the year.

During her time at IU, VanDerveer was a three-year letter winner on the women’s basketball team in 1974, 1974 and 1975.  She played starting guard, and this earned her invitations to tryout camps for the World Games in 1972 and the Olympic Team in 1974.

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VanDerveer was always determined to play ball in college.  As one of five children, it wasn’t financially possible for her to go without a scholarship.  She started out at Albany College, where she felt the challenges weren’t great enough athletically.  She talked a few of her friends into attending the AIAW National Championships, where she took notes and decided that Indiana was right for her.

At the time, none other than Bobby Knight was coaching men’s basketball.  The women’s coach, Bea Gorton, patterned her style after Knight.  VanDerveer started attending Knight’s practices to catch a glimpse of what she would be doing later in the day during her practices.  It can be noted that VanDerveer carried what she learned from Knight to her coaching at Standford.

She’s coached everywhere from Idaho to Ohio State to Stanford to the Olympics Team. Let’s not forget- VanDerveer started right here at Indiana, where the opportunity allowed her to “dunk” into success.

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Still Kickin’

Posted: April 2, 2013 by kelseyray in IU Men's Soccer

Okay, so he briefly coached for Notre Dame.  That being said, John Stollmeyer will remain a Hoosier in my heart forever.

Stollmeyer played two seasons in Major Indoor Soccer League and one each in both the American Soccer League and AmericanProfessional Soccer League.  He also earned thirty-one caps with the U.S. national team from 1986 to 1990 and was a member of the U.S. team at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

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Stollmeyer set the IU career assist record and currently ranks third on IU career list.  He played professionaly with the Cleveland Force and was rookie of the year in 1086 and 1097.  In 1987, he was also a member of the Pan American Games team and the World University Games team.  In 1988, he went on to the US Olympic team and the 1990 US World Cup Team.

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At 47, Stollmeyer is retired from professional ranks but still keeps in great shape by playing men’s indoor league.

When asked about soccer, Stollmeyer says,

We still don’t lose.  We look like a bunch of old bums, but we still know what we’re doing.

The love of thegame never really dies.  Today, Stollmeyer is Vice President of investments for Raymond James in Indianapolis.

And, of course, his children all play soccer.

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One of Our Own

Posted: April 2, 2013 by kelseyray in IU Women's Sports

In ’99, she was inducted into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame.  In ’94, she started her work as an assistant in IU Women’s Athletics.  Jump to ’96, and she became the Assistant to Directors.

Jennifer Brinegar was borned and raised in Bloomington, and are we ever lucky to still have her here.

She placed 6th in the 200 freestyle and swam on the gold medal 400 freestyle relay team in the preliminaries while representing the United States at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. She also was the American and U.S. record holder and national champion in the 500 and 1650 freestyle in 1977, the captain of the 1981 Big Ten Championship swimming and diving team, and won seven individual Big Ten titles during her collegiate career.

When asked what she thinks about the Hall of Fame, Brinegar responded,

It never crosses my mind. I’ve been around here for so much of my life, this is like home.

Home it is.

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Brinegar received her B.S. in Business in 1984 after competing on the Women’s Swimming and Diving Team for four years.  After she graduated, she worked in the auto industry.  Next, she wen ton to receive a J.D. from Vanderbilt University.  She practiced law in St. Louis, Mo. and Rochester, Minn. before her return back to Bloomington to work in college athletics.  In 1996, she received a M.S. in Sports Management from IU.

It seems as is there is nothing this woman cannot do.

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I’ll be the first to admit it- with men’s basketball March Madness in full effect, it is easy to be one-demensional when it comes to sports viewing.  If you’re anything like me, it is easy to side sweep any- and all- other sports.

Just when you think things can’t get any better- there’s even more to brag about from IU sports fans.  Indiana men’s swimming has qualified 10 swimmers for the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.  In addition, IU will take three relay alternates.

Photo courtesy of Swim World Magazine

Photo courtesy of Swim World Magazine

The Championships will take place March 28-30 at the IUPUI Sports Complex in Indianapolis.

Junior Cody Miller from Las Vegas, Nevada is IU’s top seed in the 200 individual medley.  Just one of four student-athletes entered in the meet with three automatic qualifying times, Miller will lead the way for the Hoosiers.

Photo courtesy of IU Athletics

Photo courtesy of IU Athletics

If you would like to purchase tickets to the event, you can do so here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/Swimming-Diving-Championships-tickets/artist/1813503?tm_link=edp_Artist_Name

Maybe it’s fate, or maybe it’s really a lucky name.  Maybe the athletic gods got together and decided to give those with the name Jim Montgomery special talents.

When you type in Jim Montgomery on Google, many big names pop up.  Surprisingly, they all seem to be successful athletes.  There’s the Jim Montgomery ice hockey star.  There is a famous soccer player with the name.  There is  the Jim Montgomery football player, and, of course, there is the Jim Montgomery who rose to fame beginning right here in Indiana.

Jim Montgomery is an American former competition swimmer, four-time Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder.  He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1986 as well as the IU Athletic Hall of Fame.

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Montgomery was the first man to break 50 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle.

Not surprisingly, “our” Montgomery swam under Doc Counsilman during his time at IU, with the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games taking place between his junior and senior years.  After his retirement from college and USA swimming Jim went on to win 14 Masters World Championships from 1986 to 2002.

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Today, Montgomery coaches varsity swimming at the Greenhill School in Addison, Texas.  He is also the owner and founder of the Dallas Masters club team and in 2002 was named USMS Coach of the Year.  He also offers swim workshops, seminars, instructions and public speaking.

If you would like to learn to swim with Jim Montgomery, or even just catch a bigger glimpse into what he’s doing today, check out his website here at http://www.jimmontgomeryswim.com/.

Montgomery also published a book titled “Mastering Swimming” which you can order offline from his website.  He currently gives speeches, seminars and workshops covering everything from adult swimming to learning to train your child for the Olympics.

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While you’re at it, don’t forget to take Montgomery’s swimming quiz to see if you know as much as this Hoosier pro!

http://www.jimmontgomeryswim.com/swimquiz.php